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The Ursula Federacy is somewhat unique in that it has no specific boundaries, theoretically existing wherever Urs have settled, although primarily across the icy expanses of western Jorrhildr. While portions of Ellador host a number of Ur, the federacy as a political entity does not extend to that continent. Rather, it is comprised of hundreds of tribes scattered across Jorrhildr, each of which control a territory and have influence over scores of individuals or groups, usually family based. The federacy is headquartered in one location—deviating from the Ur norm—The Red Coast, birthplace of founder Kazomir Vuk. There, they train the Dozorcovka, amass tributes, and continue to write up new devorah, or universal laws.

It is still uncertain if the foundation of the Ursula Federacy will mark the end of the era of Ur tribal independence, or if the unification efforts of Kazomir Vuk will only bring more instability to a race already burdened by centuries of war.

HistoryEdit

It is possible that the federacy may have come to be even if Vuk had not united the independent tribes with his spiritual vision. However, the tribal society of the Ur had been stable for hundreds of years, even throughout the ongoing war with the Thylans. A testament to his skills as a populist and an organizer is that the political entity resembling a nation existed prior to his declaring it the Ursula Federacy and taking control.

The initial charge of the federacy was simple: unite the independent tribes in an effort to withstand the escalating Thylan invasion. However, the focus soon shifted to the “enemy within” the tribes that Vuk so often and passionately identified: the wanderers. They were those who set off from the traditional Ur homelands, sometimes for personal gain or even to seek alliances that may help in the fight against the Thylan. Their numbers were low, but Vuk managed to convince his crowds otherwise.

The first change implemented by the federacy was a devorah, or universal law. The first of its kind, it extended to all tribes, whether they agreed to it or not. The law demanded that only those who have been cleared by the federacy, and Vuk himself, were to leave the lands of that tribe to which they had been born. To enforce this, the Dozorcovka was instituted.

The Ursula Federacy has been legitimately able to turn back the Thylans in some areas, particularly where the Ur population had been low. Orders from Vuk delivered by the Dozorcovka have made possible the formation of small armies of Ur that operate with some degree of unity. That strategy is new, and the Thylans do not yet know how to cope with such assemblies.

EtymologyEdit

The name Ursula Federacy comes from Regalian officials who were merely attempting to categorize the newly forming tribal federacy. While fairly dry, it is an accurate name that does recognize the organizations centralized focus, distinguishing them from a confederacy. However, those Ur that recognize the Ursula Federacy refer to it as the ‘Bolshoy Sovett’ which translates to ‘Grand Council,’ reflecting its role in Ur politics. When referring to the capitol, Ur simply refer to The Red Coast, the geographic region where Vuk’s camp currently resides. The Ur remain nomadic, and they still lack any permanent, modern cities resembling those of other cultures.

GeographyEdit

The geography is that of western Jorrhildr. It consists of barren ice plains and pine boughs made heavy with snow, but come summer it is also a place of isolated green and flowered expanses where birches unfold their leaves and the tamaracks are reborn. The Ur, and the encroaching Thylan, are most numerous at the lower elevations nearer the coasts. There, berries, greens, roots, fish, and game may all be enjoyed, even if much of it must be preserved for later use.

As a rule, the nomadic Ur do not build permanent above-ground structures. However, Kazomir Vuk’s encampment along The Red Coast is made up of a number of semi-permanent yurts, several of which are large enough to require a central ring of pine support columns. Most permanent Ur dwellings are below ground for use in winter. During temperate months, Ur carry what they own upon their dahkobra, or hand-sled.

ClimateEdit

Nearly all of Jorrhildr is characterized by tundra or taiga, with much of the inland areas characterized by potentially lethal winter temperatures dropping to lows that surpass those of anywhere else in Aloria. In most of the inland areas there is little precipitation, but what snow falls tends to remain. By the coasts or the windward sides of mountains there may be found isolated boreal forests where relatively warmer and wetter air circulates.However, those same areas are also characterized by fierce storms and squalls throughout the year.

Notable LandmarksEdit

  • The Wolf’s Mouth
This centuries-old sinkhole spans nearly one mile in width from one vertical cliff edge to another. Across the slightly elevated rim of this chasm is a ring of tall pines that some liken to the teeth of a wolf. Within is nothing but some various animal bones and a talus floor some 200 feet from the surface of the surrounding plain. There is a path down that winds through some natural caves. Thylan have recently learned how to herd and stampede large game over the edge of the cliff.
  • The Red Coast
Streams that run through the iron rich coastline spanning from the glacier moraine of Pilgrim’s Ledge to the petrel rookery of Round Island are stained a rusty ochre due to iron oxidation. In places these waterways tumble from the steppe over sheer cliffs to the sea, creating golden waterfalls. In some areas the water pools. In those places the water and the banks are stained the distinct earthy red for which the area has been named.
  • Storm Plain
Several times a year each tribe will hold a council. Most Ur in the area attend, and it is then that they trade, socialize, and decide political matters. But once a year there is a council at the federal level. To this council the kovka, or leaders, from all tribes in the Ursula Federacy will come. Vuk has declared that this will always be held on the Storm Plain, a vast steppe-tundra dotted with thousands of burial platforms. By doing so he claims that the ancestors will better guide their decisions.

GovernmentEdit

The structure of the federacy itself mirrors that of other preceding tribal confederacies, except in terms of its scope and power. As with a family, tribe, or confederacy, there is a council and a kovka, with members petitioning and selecting council members through an informal vote, sometimes no more than an organized shouting contest. However, confederacies normally never include more than nine tribes, as any more than that would make for an unwieldy council, each tribe typically being provided one seat. The federacy, however, includes hundreds of tribes.

The argument for this indirect and distinctly un-Ur system is that it would be unreasonable to invite hundreds of individual tribal kovkas to the federacy’s council, so no direct representation is possible. This was initially resisted, but Vuk’s vision of the threat facing the Ur ultimately won out; the federacy is run by a group of nine council members and Vuk himself, who has begun to call himself the Rushakovka. It is a title of his own making, a portmanteau of kovka and “parushin,” an assayer's term for “all the land from a point to the horizon.” In common it is simply translated as “Emperor.”

List of RulersEdit

  • Kazomir Vuk
Kazomir Vuk is the leader and founder of the federacy, bearing in mind that he has essentially staked a claim over a territory that mostly governs itself as it always has, through tribal councils.

Foreign RelationsEdit

The Ur remain at war with the Thylan, the federacy having been created, in part, to help with that war effort. For most Ur, that is the only foreign relation that actually matters. Others, including some of the ruling council have recently begun to reach out to the Ailor, such as Regalia, for assistance with the Thylan, but there has been very little enthusiasm shown. The Ur have little to offer outsiders in terms of exports or military might. Ur may be formidable, but between the Thylan and the climate, their resources are already stretched extraordinarily thin. Further complicating any outreach is Vuk’s mistrust of outsiders and the devorah, or universal law, against leaving the lands of one’s tribal claim without federal permission.

MilitaryEdit

The Ur do not have a centralized military force at this time. Generally, individual tribes manage to muster scores of Ur together to fight the Thylan, with many individual battles involving even small numbers of Ur. However, the newly formed federacy has had an impact. The existence of the Dozorcovka has put into place an inefficient but fairly stable system of communication between tribes, and the centralized government of Vuk has made it possible for orders to come on a scale that affects all compliant tribes. These elements do not indicate the presence of an organized military, but they do open the door to that possibility at a future time.

Economy and TechnologyEdit

There is little economy to speak of within the Ursula Federacy. The Ur have no common coin and rely on bartering, but even that is on a small scale. With each winter the Ur must retreat into hibernation and begin again after the sun again rises and there is food available to forage. That cycle and their nomadic culture makes large scale trade both difficult and risky. However, nearly every Ur is something of a merchant, trading fur, food, crafts, and stories between family groups, and even tribes, during the yearly festivals or councils.

The area itself offers surprisingly abundant resources. Food such as berries, tubers, and game may be found in great quantities in places where the snow melts in summer. However, by Human standards the area contains little of value on the surface and no effort has been made to determine the true value of the mineral wealth contained below. There are no exports from the Ursula Federacy, save the occasional hide taken from a fallen Ur.

DemographicsEdit

Only Ur are recognized as legitimate inhabitants of the federacy. However, as much as 30 percent of the population of Jorrhildr is comprised of non-Ur. Most of the remainder are Thylan or Northerne Ailor. However, any Ur would be quick to point out that it takes a number of Thylan to rival a single Ur.

  • Ur - 70%
  • Thylan - 15%
  • Northerne Ailor - 10%
  • Other - 5%

CultureEdit

Ur culture dominates the controlled areas, although within the boundaries of the federacy there are also scattered communities of Thylan. However, they are culturally insignificant in the context of the Ursula Federacy, except in that their existence adds fuel to the recent move towards nationalism. To a visitor, the signs of nomadic Ur occupation are easy to miss, particularly in areas covered by a snow pack. The landmarks of the federacy are all natural, and the the whatever structures Ur build they usually take down when they move on to follow a food source or respect the rise and fall of the season. Likewise, in their worship of their ancestors the Ur do not construct lasting shrines. However, come the short-lived warm seasons of the year the Ur do come together to hold councils and enjoy festivals where political decisions are made, traders meet, and it’s not uncommon to find many Ur dancing, eating, and drinking into the night.

ReligionEdit

The dominant religion in the areas comprising the Ursula Federacy, and the only one recognized as legitimate, is that of Ur ancestor worship. Through the worship of their dead relatives and the great spirit Svelarun, the Ur believe it is possible to petition all of creation itself. Their religion plays a role in every aspect of their culture, from their political requirement that all rulings must appeal to their ancestors wishes to the way their leisure and socialization is ordered around religious festivals. Unlike the religions of other races, the Ur tend not to construct lasting places of worship. What does endure, upon their clothing or crafts, is the symbol of the nechonost.

SymbolsEdit

The national symbol of the federacy is that of a modified nechonost, their circular religious symbol representing the great spirit Svelarun. To represent all of creation through the spirit of their ancestors a circle is drawn, usually in white or green to represent their homelands. Across that circle, towards the bottom third, a thick red line is drawn to signify the Red Coast and the ruling council that is held there. Outsiders that have seen it worn by Dozorcovka often believe it to represent a sunrise.

TriviaEdit

  • There is no system in place for a transition of power should Kazomir Vuk be killed or removed. His name is nearly synonymous with the Ursula Federacy.
  • There has been talk of instituting local Dozorcovka as council leaders in each tribal area by federal order. Should that happen, it’s expected that a great many will be shaved and exiled.
  • There are no well-established ports within the federacy. The Ur rely entirely on Ailor trade ships for transportation overseas.
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